Treasure Seeker Tuesday #2

tish hedge square lobster

Treasure Seeker Tuesday: Photo by Tish MacWebber; Photo Edited by Noa Price

Hi.  I am so glad that you took a few minutes out of your busy day to read my blog.  I am humbled and honoured every single time I get feedback and new statistics.  Every time you take time to read one of my stories, you impact my dreams. You reinforce my beliefs to follow my dreams and make them into a reality.  I am discovering my purpose here on this Earth.  I am so glad that I am making it happen, and I am just as happy that you are sharing my journey with me.

I have always had a creative spark within.  It was not enough.  I have worked on cross stitches, embroidery, drawing, painting, beadwork, knitting and crocheting,  and now I have rediscovered my love for writing.  I didn’t work on my writing very much since high school.  When I was in English classes, it turned me off writing as a career.  I had to read books I never would have chosen to read, then I was forced to find hidden meanings that were a stretch for me to believe.  I like things to be at face value.  I also like to be funny, punny and clever.  Dissection belongs in science class, not in English class.

After high school, I chose a path to science.  I started a pre-vet program.  I never made it to vet school.  I did finish my Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, with an Animal Science Degree.  It was an honours degree.  It took me longer than the average four years to complete it, but that makes me all the more proud to hang it on my wall.

I met my husband while studying for that degree.  We met through a group of mutual friends.  When we decided to start dating, things clicked.  We are happily married, and that is something that I can wish for all of you to find. Love.  It is an adventure that we all need to grab onto and hold tight when it happens.

If you are not in that kind of relationship at the moment, please do not despair.  It is not your time yet.  Things happen for a reason, and I truly believe that.  Your story is not yet finished, and it is up to you to get up every day and see where it takes you.

I did not find a job with my Bachelor of Science.  I went back to school and trained to be a Pharmacy Technician, who currently earns her living by working in a call center.  Is this the career path I would have chosen for myself ? No.  Would I jump at the chance to go back into the world of pharmacy? Absolutely.  I enjoyed using the scientific side of my mind.  It was a satisfying career choice.  But it was not the reason I ended up taking that course.

I believe that I was sent in that direction for another reason.  I learned how to mix IV medications and prepare chemotherapy drugs in a sterile hood.  My familiarity with working with needles helped me to adapt to having to learn how to give myself insulin.  Sometimes you need to figure out what led you to the path you are on, so you can decide if you want to keep on that journey, or find a new branch and follow another trail.

No matter what path you are on, it is up to you to learn what you can while you are there. When you have finished learning all that you can, if you are not still inspired to continue learning, it is time to try something different.  Even if it scares you.  When you do this you are pushing boundaries, and that is when the magic happens.

Now I am going to plant some seeds.  Something to think about for the week,  to help you on your own journey.  What choices did you make to lead you to where you are today?  If it was difficult, it was to make you stronger.  How did it do that?   If it was easy, why was that easy for you? What things do you love doing so much that you lose track of time when you are working on them?  Those are the things you need to investigate further, to see where they will take you.  Maybe when you do, you will find that you surprise yourself like I do when I am writing.

One last thought.  When you find yourself going two steps forward, and three or even five steps back, go with it.  Dance within the ebbs and flows of life.  Join me, and together we will make our own paths in this world.  One step at a time.

#TreasureSeekerTuesday

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Weekend Warrior # 34

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Weekend Warrior

As another weekend comes to a close, I am going to spend a few moments with a quick summary for you.  I had the Lobster and Gouda Grilled Cheese with the crock of Lobster Poutine in good company at Claudine’s Eatery Friday evening.  We had family visiting this past weekend, and it was very nice to spend time together.

Saturday started slowly with a visit to Sweet Belgian Desire for a late brunch.  I had the Omelet Florentine with a side Greek salad and coffee.  It was delicious and on plan.  We then ran a few errands, and I bought a stability ball.  I will let you know how I make out with that purchase once it is assembled and I get a chance to try it out.

We then had a BBQ Saturday evening.  My guests were quite happily entertained with 2 back to back live stream concerts from home.  I also enjoyed watching them.  The Celtic Colours International Festival is well known for the music and concerts held yearly in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada.  If you love traditional Cape Breton music and want to experience it firsthand, I highly recommend planning a trip to see some of the shows live.  If you can’t be there in person, like us, they pick one concert per night of the Festival and live stream it online.  They don’t reveal which one until the day of the broadcast.  It is available for 24 hours after the live stream is ended.  I started the Friday show and the Grand Finale was able to be watched also last night.  I am glad we found it, it was a pleasant way to spend time together.  I am able to use the tv and stereo for my computer, so it was a full-sized concert with surround sound that we watched from my living room.  It is nice to be able to watch events like that on my TV with excellent sound quality.

This morning started with coffee and tea at my kitchen table.  My family left for the next visit after that.  It wasn’t a rushed morning.  Roy and I watched a couple of TV shows together, and then we went to get a few groceries.  After this, I took a nap.  Sometimes, Sunday afternoon is meant for taking a nap.  Today was one of those days.  When I woke up, a friend had delivered some coffee K-cups for my Keurig.  I will gladly add them to my stash, and enjoy them.  We then went out to supper. I was craving Chinese food.  Since we were planning to go to Oromocto for Kingsman: The Golden Circle to see it in the early show, we chose to eat supper at Diamond House Chinese Restaurant, also in Oromocto.  We had combos and enjoyed the meal.  We had to hurry for the movie, it had just started when we got there.  We met up with our friends, chatted a bit in the parking lot after, and came home.

We ate out more than usual this weekend.  However, it was not an ordinary weekend.  I am going to be cooking tomorrow as I am not going to make it to Zumba, and I have things that need to be made.  I have leftover tossed salad saved in 2 mason jars to help start the week’s lunches off in the right direction.  I still have my picnic lunch ingredients too.  All was not lost in the planning this weekend.  I can also say that the cleaning is progressing nicely.  The dishes are being kept up and I still have a lot of organizing to do.  I made progress throughout the week like I needed to do.  The trick will be to start back at it right away this week.  Today, I needed to rest for the upcoming week.  And that is a wrap for this week.  I think I won again. 🙂

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 33

trust-your-gut

Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues.  It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on.  Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy, but it will be real.  The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people who have weight issues, on either end of the scale.  If you would like to contribute to this series, there is a contact form linked on my Homepage for this blog.  I know there are people out there that want to help people like them; as I do.

 

The names here may or may not reflect the person’s real name.  If someone wants to remain unknown, we will choose a different name for that person’s story.  The goal is to help people, and anonymity is a valid personal choice for contributors.  I will use a person’s name only if they give permission to do so.

This week I am pleased to share another of my own stories.

Here is  Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 33

Insulation.  Fat. I have it in abundance.  Someone might think that it would result in me being warm all of the time.  That is not true.

Circulation.  Normally, if you have normal circulation, all that warm lovely blood pumping in abundance in your veins keeps you from being cold.

Diabetes.  The chronic condition that I live with every day.  Making it difficult to do a lot of normal things, like staying warm.

What do I do to combat being cold?  Layers.  Yeah, that’s what the morbidly obese person needs to do to keep warm.  Put on layers.  Make yourself appear larger than you actually are.  Brilliant.

A friend told me that I should try wearing a scarf, especially when I started cutting my hair short.  I have one I wear a lot. It is the first scarf that I knit for myself.  It does help.

If I get up and move around, it helps.  Can’t do that at work.  So I layer up.  I do stand up from time to time and get breaks.  But sitting still for seven hours a day in a generally cold office means I have to take my own comfort control.

I have been cleaning.  I unburied the bathroom scale, and am scared to step on it.  I fear the worst.  It is taking me away from the computer and writing, a bit.  It is also a form of “I am not sitting down I am up and moving around so it counts as exercise.

I went back to Zumba.  I got 4800 steps last night.  That is good.

It has been a long two weeks, and I am up too late again, this time with very little inspiration.  So, I will keep on working on me, my house and my writing.

I think I have hit a metaphorical wall.  There is only one thing left to do.  Get back up and try again tomorrow.

Trust Your Gut.

 

 

Treasure Seeker Tuesday #1

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The unedited Tuesday Treasure Seeker photo, which I took myself, at King’s Landing.  

Welcome to the first “Official” Treasure Seeker Tuesday!  I wrote it that way because there was a preview story a few weeks back when I was getting ready to launch this new category.  While I am still holding the reins and the keyboard, I thought it would be great to write about the Treasure Seekers (YOU!) and me.  We can start having adventures together while I am writing my books and working on this blog.

The first one involved thinking up a picture for this weekly category.  I am aiming to make it a weekly story, like Trust Your Gut Thursday, and Weekend Warrior.  I am hoping that it doesn’t become too much for me. Time will tell, as I am managing the blog commitments as best as I can so far, and the previous categories are still progressing. If I need to scale it back, it may be twice a month instead of every week, but we will see how it goes.

The struggle for finding the right picture for this category began with an online search for treasure, gems, treasure chest, maps, amongst other various thoughts and combinations.  While I was looking through many pictures and not finding what I wanted, I remembered that I had the picture I shared above.  It was taken at Kings Landing Historical Settlement a few years ago when I went for my first time.  It is quite the experience, to walk around, and see the farms and the people in costume playing the roles of people from our distant past.  We enjoyed our tour of some of the village and had a meal at The King’s Head Inn Restaurant before heading home.  It was the first time I tried Naughtea, which is a local honey mead made with green tea from Pollen Angels.  It is lovely.

Here are a few pics of my visit that day.

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Now you can see where the inspiration for this picture came from.  I think that Kings Landing Historical Settlement is a gem, waiting for people to visit and take in the experience.  Now on to the “official” Treasure Seeker Tuesday business at hand.

I wanted to make a picture that invited the Treasure Seeker inside, to invite us to look for what lies beyond what is apparent in the picture.  This group and category are meant to be about more than meets the eye.  Not just the flash of the bling, but also about what really matters to us as a Tribe.  So when it came down to deciding on this, I reached out to friends and the “Official” Treasure Seekers Group on social media.

I am learning so much as I work on this blog.  I am not the type of creative that needs courses to prove what I can do.  I jump in, and likely because of the way I approach my projects, I feel like yelling and pulling out my hair sometimes, but I figure things out. Usually the hard way, first.  I am neither a photographer nor an editor, but I do the best I can.  Sometimes, people guide me to where I need to find the tools I need to accomplish what I need to do.  Other times, people pitch in and lend a helping hand.

That is what is so great about my whole blogging adventure.  I have friends that I know personally, and friends from around the world that are willing to help me out when I am stuck on something.  It humbles me when people open their hearts and minds to help me figure things out.  It also amazes me when a friend has the very answer I am seeking.  I treasure you all. (See what I did there?  I couldn’t help myself)!

There were a lot of attempts by myself to get this done.  I am now going to insert a slideshow of my own photo editing journey, then I will share the work of two friends that pitched in to help, crediting their work and sharing their online links for you to check out what else they are working on.

Here is my progression:

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They are made with two different fonts.  I thought Great Vibes was a really pretty font.  I chose the other font, Lobster Two because it was a bolder font.  The Great Vibes was hard to read for some people, and the Lobster Two seemed to be easier for people to see on this pic.  I was then offered help.

Kirsty Allen, who hosted my first guest blog story, offered to give it a whirl.  You can find my introduction to that guest blog story here.  There is a link to the guest blog story at the end of my introduction story.  Kirsty is an author also.  You can find her blog, The Ramblings of a Madwoman with her writing and tips for other writers in this link.

Kirsty submitted two edited pictures for my review.

She used a different font, similar to the pretty Great Vibes I was working with, but it was even more elegant.  She also shared that she used, “…the wonders of Photoshop. Basically, I applied a filter in the second image, increased the contrast, and played around with the colour balance of the leaves to give them more of a blue saturation.”  I don’t understand what most of those terms mean, but I can see what they look like after she applied them.

Another friend, a former roommate Noa Price, also wanted to help.  She is living abroad now, and we were friends before and after we were roommates.  If she lived closer, I might be seeking her help out more often.  She is an artist, so she has a different background altogether.  She has studied her art in both New Brunswick, Canada, and also in Australia.  Her photo editing programs include adobe photoshop, but she shared that she prefers to use inkscape for illustrator and gimp for photoshop.  After a few trial runs, she sent her edited pictures for me to review.

Noa did some editing work on the original picture to fill in the hedge adjusted the colouring of it. In her words, “I changed it a bit leaving some of the path so people would “come in” and also made 70% opacity just behind the hedge so any text would be easily readable without losing the bush appearance. ”  You can see other examples of my friend Noa’s work at Noa Price’s Designs website.

After I carefully reviewed all of my options and considered the comments from social media gathered after this project, I made a final decision.  It was certainly a process, and as you can see, I am putting a lot of thought and effort into this picture, to get the correct one for this purpose.

This is the one I chose:

tish hedge square lobster

Noa Price 2

While I was working on this project, I played with different fonts.  Lobster Two seemed to be one I kept going back to.  Up to this point on my blog, I have used the font, Lora, with a tiny sprinkle of the font, Cabin Sketch.  I realized that Lobster Two really resembles my own personal handwriting style while working on this project, and I also really LOVE eating lobster.  It is my absolute favourite food on the planet, closely followed by chocolate and pizza.  So for me to see all of these things lining up, I have to go with my gut on this, and it is telling me that this will be the Treasure Seeker Tuesday picture moving forward.  Also, as I am building a new website, I think it is fair to expect a major font change on the new website.  At least until I find a chocolate or pizza font to mix in there. I hope that you agree with this picture as being the overall winner, and I look forward to writing in this category in the future.

If there are any topics or ideas that you would like to explore in a future Treasure Seeker Tuesday, please send me an e-mail or leave a comment below.  I can’t wait to see what we can discover together.

Weekend Warrior #33

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Weekend Warrior

Happy Thanksgiving from Canada!  I am indeed going to stuff myself full to the brim of turkey dinner at a friend’s house today.  I am thankful that I don’t have to cook a turkey this weekend, as it is still warmer than seasonal temperatures here and I would absolutely melt.  I did see a turkey roasting pot at Walmart yesterday that looks like a crock pot for turkeys and claims to be self-basting while the turkey cooks.  If that works it might be something that goes on my wish list.  If you have tried this out, let me know if you like it.

I am cleaning this week.  I realized that I need to get into the cleaning again, before November.  I have been inspired to participate in NaNoWriMo after I decided not to do it this year.  I am going to write about cats and Susan, and the theme is superpowers, not superheroes like I thought, but I will make it work.  I have asked friends to send me cat stories for research.  I have an idea of what I want to write, and how, but was worried that I may not have enough information to write it all from the original idea.  I will use my own superpowers to win this year, I know it!

I have yet to complete the website setup.  I am working on it this month, but I now have more going on than I did before.  Since I started this blog in November last year, it seems fitting to make my move a year later.  I wanted to test my writing abilities before making this leap.  I think I can safely assume that it is not a passing fancy and that I am totally committed to keeping it going.  I am about to add my new third category this week, and I am really excited about it.  It is also going to have a few surprises, in terms of nerdy author geeky things.

Along with working on concepts and ideas for my NaNoWriMo novel, I have taken up the fantasy trilogy project.  I do not want to fall too far behind on it and am working on it every few days.  I am happy to say that a challenge I am in (are you surprised that I started another one? No?  I am in two right now, with one to catch up on when I finish these two) has fired up my writing for the book one of the trilogy.  I started a little bit of free writing and got some plot and character ideas going.  That was all I needed to pick it up again.  Who knew?  I didn’t.  I told you that I even surprise myself sometimes.

Weekends are supposed to be fun filled.  It was.  I also went to the Northside Market on Saturday, and am now as I write re-organizing furniture in my mind in the Master Bedroom/Craft Room.  I have made some progress, and want to finish it tomorrow so that I can move more craft supplies back out of the living room and into the neatly organized space in my Master Bedroom.  I hope to get this done because I am on a deadline.  I have to push through this week and work at work and clean at home so that I can really focus on the writing.  What do I need to finish before then?  After the cleaning is done, then I move on to website building, including an online store (exciting and terrifying at the same time) and moving the Blog to the website.  If I am going to get this all done before November, I need to be focused on progress and getting things finished.

By the end of the week, on Friday, I want to kick back and relax after a week of doing double duty.  Then I can implement the maintenance cleaning schedule and have a monthly and weekly chore list that keeps things from reversing into chaos again.  I know that chaos is a true sign of a creative mind and that it is not always a bad thing, but I am trying to change my ways for the better, and fight my way to be able to feel like I can spend more time creating and be happy about it.  Not feeling guilty and not doing anything because what I want to do can’t be done until I do what I need to do, which I don’t want to do, and then I fall into the nasty non-productive loop of living in chaos and getting nothing done at all.  I have a plan for tomorrow, and I have to set myself up to succeed before I give up on it all.  I know what I have to do, and it is up to me to do it.

What did you do this weekend?

 

Guest Blog Host Post #1: Tea or Coffee?

 

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When someone comes to visit me, I will offer them a cup of tea or coffee, as a host.  I chose this picture in particular because it has vibrant colours.

 

As a Blogger, you generally love to read and write.  A part of the craft is to continually learn and challenge yourself to become a better author.  In doing so, one often subscribes and follows numerous blogs within the community.

I have been fortunate enough to start on this path with a lot of help and guidance from my friends, and peers.  I have enrolled in free online workshops and found some that I think are worth saving up to participate in.  Through one of these challenges, I launched a free Guest Blogging invitation to the world.

While I haven’t been overwhelmed by people looking to share in this opportunity with me, a few people have approached me, and today I have the pleasure of sharing a story that another blogger wrote.  I do think as we are reading each other’s words and having online conversations about each other’s work, that we are well on the way to becoming friends.

I am a member of several different writing and blogging groups and communities online.  I am loving the support that I get from each one, and how they are all unique in their own ways.  I met my next Guest Blog Writer in one of these groups.

Syl DiNada was interested in Guest Blogging when I put out the invitation.  We started chatting, and Syl was more interested in sharing than hosting.  As it is an open invitation, I decided that I would see what came out of our discussions, and reading my new friend’s blog.

Let me tell you, the artwork that is prominently featured in Syl DiNada’s Blog is phenomenal.  I can visit just to look at the pictures.  Truly inspirational and magnificent.  Well worth checking out.  The writing, well, we definitely have different outlooks on life, and that is absolutely wonderful.  I love reading different things, and Syl puts a lot of thought behind the artwork, and consequently the writing for the blog.  I rather enjoy the visits, you should take a peek, and find something to read there.

Here is the Guest Blog share from Syl DiNada.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017
Sharing the Self

Syl 1Z: “Syl, I like your avatar but seriously, what do you look like? Why are you standing behind a mask and yet trying to convey true words?”

Y: “Z, I would just like to say we live in a world where we sometimes put too much importance on how others look. An Avatar can be a way of allowing a much larger audience to pay attention and really hear what is being said.

Personally, not for myself, as I honestly don’t care how someone looks, but I
care what is in their heart and how they convey that.”

Syl: Yes, Y has it pretty much. Although I really do make the majority of my
posts with just me in mind.

But really, at the time I signed up for FaceBook I did not own any pictures of
myself. I don’t use a phone either and had no digital camera. I just don’t
have much interest in personal pics, never have. (Yes, I know it’s hard to
believe in this day and age, but some of us have never taken a selfie.) So I
used this avatar pic of mine. And ofc…”There is More…”

Pictures of faces have a very particular effect on cognition. They instantly
convey an impression of someone. Pictures of faces are limited in what they
can convey, particularly when someone is outside of the typical cognition
pattern. I feel pretty confident that I am very much Not what a picture of my
face looks like.
I mean you will see a fairly regular face. But I think I can say without any ego
that I am not very regular at all. Not better or worse, just quite different. This
is something I know for sure from an objective standpoint.

Syl 2So any picture I put up of me will actually be *Inaccurate.* It won’t, and can’t, tell the whole story. Lol, I struggle to tell my story when I make an effort to do so.

For instance, a friend whom I chat with regularly, asked and made some specific comments about how it all started for me. And well, they completely
miss-assumed how it all began. So I had to explain. Lol, a few hundred thousand words, or half a dozen books later, I am still not done telling that story.

Haha, nothing for me is simple anymore, and that was just a straight-up
chronological story, telling about my early days as a philosopher, as a boy.
(Yes, I was a philosopher as a boy.) So really, I can’t put up a picture, it
would be a falsehood.

And besides, I am not sure why folks assume some other profile pic means hiding, That avatar pic actually says a lot, but that is a whole other post by
itself. I would say my posts reveal more about me than most pages I have
seen.

I am sharing my very essence. That is about as intimate as one can go. To
share what one’s favorite colour and food is, means nothing at all really. In
order to truly know someone, we need to know what matters to them, what
is important, what resonates with their Inner Being, with their Core.

It is knowing what they *Aspire* to. Not even ambitions really tell us about
someone, those are typically relatively superficial, and often artificial. But
what someone’s Heart and Soul truly *Aspires* to, that is *them.* Knowing
someone, one could say, is getting to know their Soul and Heart, not their
temporary and arbitrary likes and dislikes. We have to go past the surface
superficialities to really get to know someone.

Besides, I don’t feel what I Share for the most part “belongs” to me.
Concepts, thoughts, ideas, Perspectives and all the More I Share, belong to
everyone. In this way I feel I am Sharing what is Us. I truly make every effort
to live in Attunement to everything around me, to everyone and everything in
my life. I try with everything I have to live in Attunement with the World and
the Universe. Perhaps I need a picture of a community, a large community,
that would be more accurate. ❤ ❤
Syl 3***

And well, there is another reason also… I am way too handsome to post my
picture. I would get err….unwanted attention if I did. 😀 😀 😀
However, in amongst all the art in my posts, somewhere, there is a picture that does resemble me. ❤

 

Syl DiNada is a Philosopher-Writer focusing on the Application of a comprehensive Practical-Personal-Philosophy.
Creator of: The Philosophy of Appropriateness and: An A+ Philosophy.
Syl 4
Thanks for letting me share your story from January, Syl DiNada.  I look forward to reading more of your writing, and further conversations.  If you are reading this and want to get in touch with me for Guest Blogging opportunities, here is the invitation.

You are cordially invited to start a discussion with Tish MacWebber about Guest Posting opportunities.2

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 32

trust-your-gut

Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues.  It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on.  Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy, but it will be real.  The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people who have weight issues, on either end of the scale.  If you would like to contribute to this series, there is a contact form linked on my Homepage for this blog.  I know there are people out there that want to help people like them; as I do.

 

The names here may or may not reflect the person’s real name.  If someone wants to remain unknown, we will choose a different name for that person’s story.  The goal is to help people, and anonymity is a valid personal choice for contributors.  I will use a person’s name only if they give permission to do so.

This week I am pleased to share another of my own stories.

Here is  Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 32

There is an elephant in the room.  For once, there is something bigger than me sitting in here.  On my shoulders, actually.  You can’t see it, but I know it is there.  I call it, “The Overwhelm Elephant.”  It is something that is referred to in terms of this big dark thing that just weighs you down and won’t let you accomplish things.  I have good days and bad days.  Let’s start with the bad ones.

There are days when nothing goes right.  I work, I fight I push and I don’t get anywhere.  Those days are not the days I am referring to.  The Overwhelm Elephant, as I am going to call it, stops all of it.  Even when I am capable of doing things, I just don’t.  I sit and I stew and I waste time and I get nothing accomplished.  The weight on my shoulders is not where it stops.

It puts pressure on my mind.  I used to get pinpoint headaches.  Just a little stabby pain for a minute or less, and then it would be gone. I now think maybe it was the elephant tusk poking at me.  The beginnings of what I feel at its worst.  The pinpoint headaches are not common anymore.  I have different headaches now.

Migraines are not fun.  I get auras, sometimes that is all that happens.  Those are called painless migraines.  When the tension and pressure climb up my shoulders to my neck and scalp, then I feel the start of a tension headache.  Sometimes it feels like spiders are running on spiderwebs all over my scalp.  Tingly, not necessarily painful.  Other times the elephant needs to hang on because it is going to be a rough one.  Those headaches are when the elephant’s trunk is tightening on the circumference of my scalp.  Those can last for days. When there is a throbbing pain involved, that is the worst kind of migraine.  Mine are atypical, and sometimes not as frequent as they used to be, which is a blessing.

The days when there is no reason at all to not be productive at all can be the worst.  It is a head game, with The Overwhelm Elephant.  She is reminding me of every little thing I have to do to be perfect at my health, my housekeeping, my job, and my life.  She doesn’t forget because she has the memory of an elephant.  It is hard to shake that feeling when it sets in.  I have written about it before, but not in reference to an elephant.  For me, it seems to be fitting.

Now for the good days.  I have days when I accomplish things.  I work hard, and I see results.  These are the kinds of days I wish I could have every day.  When I am prep cooking for my health, exercising to relieve stress, writing to pursue my passion, and getting things done while crossing them off my list.  I am a list driven person, and I need to cross things off the list to feel like I am making progress.  There are days I get a lot done, and there are days when I can’t even bring myself to write out the list.  When things seem like they are too big or too many to get finished, it sometimes stops me in my tracks.  On the good days, though, I can shout it from the rooftops, and I want everyone to know what I feel like on a good day.

When I was imagining The Overwhelm Elephant, I went searching for a picture of an elephant to put at the end of my story.  Imagine my surprise when I found one that reminded me of a distant childhood memory, of a road trip with my family.  We were visiting friends of the family, and they took me to an event without my sisters, one thing I got to do as the older sister that I still have a keepsake from.  They made me a ceramic piggy bank to take home, and it has a broken ear, now, but I still keep it with me.  It is sitting, not standing, and it has my name in amongst the polka dots.  Yes, it is a polka dot elephant piggy bank.  And it looks a lot like this:

Pink Polka Dot Elephant

I have had to embrace my emotions and feelings on my journey to becoming a healthier version of myself.  When I start feeling The Overwhelm Elephant taking over next time, I am going to go and pick up my polka dot piggy bank elephant and smile.  Because it will be smiling right back at me.

Trust Your Gut.

Weekend Warrior # 32

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Weekend Warrior

If you are following my blog, you will know what I was up to yesterday, already.  I will not go into the same story again, but it is still on my mind, of course.

Friday night had me decide to have a bottle of wine.  It was a red wine, and it was truly terrible.  I did not enjoy it at all, and will never buy it again.  I thought about pouring it down the drain, but being half Scottish, I drank it instead of wasting it.  The new wine glass (a 1 Litre Thundermug) fit the 750ml bottle nicely, and I sipped at it all evening.  There were a large number of descriptive flavours on the label, but none of them shone through.  It was muted abundance if that makes any sense.  Hmm.  If I ever make wine, that might be what I call it, but instead of being watery, and too many flavours, I will find a way to take a subtle flavour and enhance it.  Muted Abundance.  Well, at least I got something good out of the experience!

Roy had decided he was up for making tacos for supper.  I think I should warn you that horribly bad red wine does NOT pair well with tacos.  I doubt red wine ever pairs well with tacos.  Had I known where the evening would have ended, I might have chosen to drink some of Susan’s tequila instead.  Hindsight is 20/20. We then sat down to watch The Orville together.  Roy had no idea what I was putting on the TV, but we rather enjoyed it.  The obvious jokes were funny, and it was a show with a spaceship.  We will see if it keeps us laughing, that was the pilot show.  I had my bottle of G2 (Gatorade) chaser when I finished the wine and while I was eating my tacos.  I can say that I had no hangover (yay!) but must confess to a night of uncomfortable indigestion.

Saturday was written about yesterday.  However, after the event, we went out to supper with Andrew and some other friends.  We had a nice meal, and the conversation did steer around Star Trek Discovery and The Orville.  After that, we went to play pool at Dooly’s for an hour or two.  While we were there, a Beatles song came on.  I felt it was a message from Susan, as we were there with Andrew.  “Paperback Writer” played, and it made me feel like we had her blessing to be spending time together as friends.  It also told me that I need to get serious about writing if I am going to get my Fantasy Trilogy done.  I was a little sad that Susan wasn’t able to be with us, but also felt that in a way, she was.

Here I am on Sunday, writing from The Second Cup, in Fredericton New Brunswick, Canada.  I have to pass some time before going to buy fish food.  We are out, and the fishies like it when we feed them. (No, they didn’t go without, we just need more.)  As I am in the same part of town where the store is, it made sense to park in a cafe with my laptop, have my breakfast, and write.  I am so happy with this laptop.  I just had a brief discussion with the city mayor about the wi-fi signal here.  I am in the front corner, far away from the counter, and I suspected that if I was closer to the back of the cafe the signal would be stronger.  The Mayor confirmed this, as he is using his phone, and was moving through the cafe to find out if the signal changed.  It did.  For my purposes, it is a Sunday, and I decided that the location was more important than the speed of my internet connection.  With a little patience, I am able to do what I need to do.  It is a lesson in patience when the internet is slow, no matter where you are, or what you are working on.  Today, I have decided to pace myself and make the most of my day, as tomorrow is another Monday.

Once I finish my errands, I am going to go prep cook and bounce the house.  I plan to have a skype date with my cousin this evening and will be catching a live webinar this afternoon.  I am hoping to meet up with a friend today, actually, there may be two friends I need to see, now that I think about it.  So even though it is a day that I do not want to rush about to get things done, it will be packed full of many things that need to get done.

Her name was Susan. She was my friend. She won NaNoWriMo.

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My friend Susan died last week.  She was very brave and fought against cancer for as long as she could.  I decided to write out what I would like to say at her Celebration of Life Event today.  I am going to share that here, for those who could not attend to read about my friendship with Susan, and her husband, Andrew.  She was 47 years old. Here is what I had written to say, from several little pieces of notepaper, scribbled at 3 am one morning earlier in the week.

I remember feeling sad when Susan told me that she had cancer.  We weren’t the closest of friends at that time, but that changed.  I had met Susan’s husband before I met her.  I joined a gaming group as I was new to Fredericton, and needed to meet people and make friends.

 

Susan and I met later on, and we had a lot of things in common, including creativity and cats.  Oh, how Susan loved all of the kitties!  She would save as many as she could, and picked the ones that nobody else would choose.  She had a cat with one eye, and a cat that has medical issues that require frequent vet trips.  That didn’t matter because Susan loved her cats, and they loved her right back.

 

I attended a dance lesson in their backyard, once.  It was a gathering of friends, and we all participated in learning a medieval dance.  It was fun, although I would not be able to do it again without lessons.  I returned the favour by bringing Susan to a Zumba class with me.  It was after she had been diagnosed, and she did what she could.  There were chairs for her to rest in when she was tired.  I remember that she had fun, and wanted to go again.  That didn’t happen, but it was nice to share the love of dancing with Susan.

 

You might be wondering why I chose to wear this brightly coloured poncho today. ( I was wearing the same one that is in my profile pic here.) When I started to knit it, I was lost, and rather confused.  Knowing that Susan was an avid knitter, I approached her for help with it.  She took the time to go over the pattern, and we decided that I needed a chart.  She helped me to make the chart, and because she helped me, I have a completed poncho that she helped me to knit.  Simple, yet effective.  The perfect solution for me and that is why I am wearing it today.

 

She liked to knit socks for people.  I remember being out to buy sock yarn with her, and she was asking if the colours went together well or not.  She confided that other people didn’t always like the colour choices she made for knitting socks.  She wasn’t so fussy when it was for her own socks, they were just socks.  She had been getting feedback on other socks that she had knit for people that the yarn didn’t always match well, so she wanted to check on the colours before buying yarn if she was making socks for gifts.

 

When she found out I wanted to work on knitting, she lent me her Stitch and Bitch knitting book.  I think I kept it a little too long.  When she asked for it back, I actually went out and bought my own copy.  I never told her that.

 

I have attempted to join in on the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) events.  For those that do not know what it is, it is a worldwide movement for authors to write a whole book in November, and it is an annual event.  I tried a few times, but have decided that it is not the format for me, and I am now a Nano Cheerleader.  Susan loved to host the events for Nano, and was very proud to show me her Nacho Hat platter that was used for the Nano events.  She was a great leader in the Nano world, and people looked forward to her launch and closing parties.  Unlike myself, she was a Nano winner.  She recently gave me a book she wrote, called “Freaks in Fredericton.”  I plan to read it when I feel ready, and I guess I will have to wait to discuss it with her in another place and time.

(I added a bit here about FredNoWriMo, the local branch, and that the theme is Superhero this year.)

When Susan was needing to be more cheerful, she would often turn to Youtube. Sometimes we would sit and watch cat videos.  Other times it would be music.  She introduced me to the guy that takes tweets from Twitter and turns them into songs.  Her favourite was the one with the ukulele and he is singing, “Pink Fluffy Unicorns Dancing on Rainbows.”  That is the whole song.

She also introduced me to Post Modern Jukebox.  They take current songs and cover them in different styles from different eras.

 

(This was the end of page one, and the start of page two.  I had a harder time with page two.)

One thing I learned from both Susan and Andrew, her husband,  was that it was OK to talk to them about things that were happening in my life.  I didn’t want to bother them with my issues, they seemed to be insignificant when they were dealing with her diagnosis.  We came to an understanding that it was OK to talk about things and that we would all be real when we were visiting.  In a way, it might have helped them to have something less impactful to talk about, and as friends that talked about problems together, I think it helped them, just as much as it helped me to have a place that was safe to talk about anything.  It made me realize that because they realized that what mattered to me was important, that made me, their friend, important.  What a beautiful gift of friendship to share.

 

She often expressed a hate for cancer.  I agree with her on that.  One day, when she was having a particularly difficult time finding the right words to express her thought, she accurately said that she hated her brain.  I knew exactly what she meant, but I still don’t know how to correctly respond to that comment.

 

I wanted to be a good friend to Susan, even if I knew that it would tear me up inside after she was gone.  The last thing I said to her was, “See you later.”  I hate goodbyes.I hope to be a better friend because of my friendship with you.

It surprised me when people told me after that I did very well, and that I should be a public speaker, not a writer.  In the last few months, I have also been told I should be a comedian.  I try to be funny, but it doesn’t always work.  I blank out after speaking in public, so I don’t always know if it went well or not unless I ask someone after I am done.  I did read in Church when I was old enough, and they taught me the few basic skills I used today.  Pacing yourself, pausing to look at the people, and just making sure that you speak clearly into the microphone.  I did need a minute near the end, but I expected that.  I managed to do my best, and that is all I wanted to do.

It was not easy to do that today, even if it seemed like it may have been before page two.  I had to just focus on the task of reading what I had written.  Knowing another friend had given it a read before today helped, she said it was perfect.  What do you say when there are no words to express how you feel?  You think about the good times and write from the heart.  Sometimes there are no words.  I was blessed to have known her and to be able to tell her family just how important she was to me, as my friend.

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 31

trust-your-gut

Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues.  It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on.  Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy, but it will be real.  The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people who have weight issues, on either end of the scale.  If you would like to contribute to this series, there is a contact form linked on my Homepage for this blog.  I know there are people out there that want to help people like them; as I do.

 

The names here may or may not reflect the person’s real name.  If someone wants to remain unknown, we will choose a different name for that person’s story.  The goal is to help people, and anonymity is a valid personal choice for contributors.  I will use a person’s name only if they give permission to do so.

This week I am pleased to share another of my own stories.

Here is  Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 31

Another week has come and gone.  Thursday was yesterday.  I am a little sorry that I am writing late this week, but my heart wasn’t in it yesterday, and I want to keep it real and honest with you all. I have suffered a loss nine days ago that has affected me more than I expected in some ways, and just as much as I thought it would in others.  This loss was neither on a scale nor of inches.

There are two certainties in life.  You are born, and you die.  A dear friend of mine lost her battle with cancer nine days ago.  I plan to speak at her Celebration of Life Ceremony tomorrow.  While I was writing what I wanted to say and organizing my thoughts for that, I realized that it was more important for me to focus my attention on it when I decided to do it.  I got a friend to give it a read through in an editorial sense, but because I drafted and edited it myself, she thought that it was a great piece of writing.  So I am sorry if I let anyone down that is following my journey in this category, but all is not lost.  I am here today, and I feel like writing.  If the family is OK with me sharing my story after I read it tomorrow, you can expect to read a different kind of Weekend Warrior story later on this weekend.

So what brought me around, other than the guilt of missing my self-imposed deadline for the weekly story?  I was watching another video along the lines of Branding, and learning more about how to be effective at it.  Wait, what?  How does this relate to a struggle with weight issues?

The guest speaker was talking about taking what makes you mad, and writing about it.  Not an infuriating anger filled frustrated rant, but to use common sense thought processes and provide a solution.  This is the basis of what I want to do here.  I am mad that I am the way I am, physically, and health-wise.  I write about what I need to do, and I learn new recipes and ways to improve my health and change what I am using for fuel in my body to have a positive outcome.  I can write about it, I can think about it, I can talk about it, but the bottom line is, only I can care enough about myself to actually DO something about it.

I seem to be at opposing sides with my food choices.  I will eat a really healthy meal, and then go WAY off track and have junk food or fast food.  Willpower is certainly lacking in my life these days.  I am struggling with some old monsters.  They are ganging up on my inner light and causing me strife.

The feeling that I am never going to be good enough is a main contributing factor in why I weigh over 300 lbs.  I get it from many sources in my life.  My childhood was not bad, not at all, but sometimes the messages were not presented in a way to make me flourish.  I don’t believe people when they compliment me right away.  I need to hear things that are positive about a million times before I believe them, and then I get upset.  I just don’t know how to accept compliments.  I am working on this and getting better about thanking people when they say nice things.  For me, this is a real struggle.

Work is another area where this arises.  Workplace Bullying is wrong, no matter how subtle it is, or who the bully is.  I am not singling out my current employers, let’s be clear about that.  But when I see or experience it, it makes me feel like I am not good enough.  I struggle with that internally, and it is not always somebody else’s fault.  Sometimes I can be too sensitive.  I am learning to stand up for myself, and this is not easy for me to do, either.  As I learn, I have to make mistakes.  Picking battles is a trickier thing than you think it is.  If I was to cry out about every little thing that happened in my life, people would stop listening, stop reading, and stop caring.  Then I would be alone and back to doubting myself.

Sometimes the monsters are on the outside.   That is something that makes me angry.  People that abuse power are the worst kind of bullies, and I come from a long history of being a victim.  I struggle every day to be a good person.  It tears me up inside when that is perceived to be not good enough.  At this point, I can react in two different ways.  I can hide, and cry until I have no more tears.  Or I can speak out.  I am doing more talking, and it does not always go as well as I plan it in my head.  Some things are not OK, and some things need to be confronted.  When things backfire, I do hide for a bit, until I deal with my feelings of being hurt.  Sometimes I can be overzealous in my attempts to stand up for myself.  In these cases, I do get upset, but these days I stand to face the music, instead of turning tail and running.

Still not sure how I am planning to tie this all together?  Well, the ugly monsters inside are the worst ones of all.  The inner bully that kicks you when you are down and sucker punches you when you weren’t looking is pure evil.  We all have the negative self-talk, the hard feelings about one thing or another that we let win.  I have been doing a little too much of that this month.  I am letting the monster win, and that is not going to end well.  I have two choices.  I can do nothing, or I can do something about it.  I think it is time to take action and kick some monster butts.  I feel the inner glow getting a little brighter as I wrote that.  I needed to get it out.  So I am going to take my common sense and use it to change what makes me angry.  For this category, that means I am going to start making better choices and be the change I want to see in myself.  One thing at a time, one choice at a time, one story at a time.

Trust Your Gut.